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Why move to France?

Updated on February 19, 2013

Why France?

Ever since I was a little girl I have been fascinated with fairy tales. Castles and princesses. So the first time I visited France I must admit that I fell in love at first sight. Listening to French language just made me melt, I didn't understand the language but the sound caressing my ears was a strong aphrodisiac.

Being ruled by my stomach, food was also a determining factor to me falling in love with France. Often people imagine the French eating frogs and snails washed down with red wine. But the reality could not be more delicious. Plenty of vegetables glistening in your dish ready to be savoured with a slice of crusty baguette. Deliciously pungent cheeses arriving at the table tempting you for another bite... yummy....

My first time in France I only stayed a couple of days, but it was crucial for me. I had fallen in love! I supposed I should not have been surprised, I am a stormy person who is easily struck by love with a tendency for the ‘coup de foudre' as the French would say. I would never have imagined that 5 years after my first visit, I would meet again with this long time lover and that this time I would stay.

The old Bridge, Argenton Sur Creuse.
The old Bridge, Argenton Sur Creuse.
Argenton Sur Creuse, banks of the Cruise River
Argenton Sur Creuse, banks of the Cruise River
Argenton Sur Creuse from the distance
Argenton Sur Creuse from the distance
At the Park in Valençay
At the Park in Valençay
Chateau de Valençay in the background
Chateau de Valençay in the background

But, Why France?

If we were to talk about practicalities, there were many reasons to move to France.

  1. It is a beautiful country. I believe this explains why the French are not very interested in travelling abroad. France has all the climates. You can be at the beach in the morning and you can go skiing the afternoon! There are volcanoes, thermal baths, plenty of beach lakes, seaside resorts, skiing stations... you mention it and France will have it!

  2. The French love for outdoor activities. The second time I came to France, I stayed near the Alps. It was September but the weather was good enough to have a picnic in the park overlooking the snowy mountains. I was amazed to see entire families going around cycling or roller skating. I saw them and I knew that was the type of up bringing that I wanted for my children.

  3. Education. People in France are by and large very well educated. Do not expect to see children throwing tantrums in supermarkets or restaurants -if you see them... they are mine! I mean, I had people in the metro in Paris helping me with my baggage or giving a seat in a crowded train, something unknown to me in any other city.
  4. The wine. I suppose this reason doesn't need explanation!

  5. The culture. France has managed to keep most castles and monuments in very good state. There are several mediaeval towns to visit and mouth dropping castles everywhere.

  6. The food. Not only the haute cuisine that you can eat in fancy restaurants, but also in the countryside cuisine is amazingly tasty mainly because of the quality of produce used in the preparation.
  7. Very good value homes in the countryside with the bonus of having lots of land as part of your property.

La Bonne Vie

I could continue the list of reasons of why we chose France but it would be too long. I think it can all be summarized in the pursuit for la bonne Vie. In France, pursuing the good life is a serious business. I genuinely admire the preference for living and enjoying life that the French have.

In France family and la bonne vie are the priorities. The great majority are not obsessed by their work and carreers. They prefer to work 35 hours and have more free time rather than spend their lives working to buy the latest model in cars or mobile phones. And at least in the countryside people seem to be more worried about having a good time than about what material things they have.

Of course, here having a good time, means eating and drinking well and spending your free time in something you enjoy like hunting, cycling, fishing, painting, etc. We live in a small town full of artists. It is rare to find someone with no artistic interest. From an early age children are encouraged to go to music school, or painting workshops to develop their artistic abilities.

Of course, there were also disadvantages to moving to France. But that I will tell you about another day!

Most beautiful castles in France

Would you move to France?

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    • profile image

      Serge le obsequió un rose a Marie 4 years ago

      vive la france

    • Frenglish profile image

      Frenglish 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I agree also agree with the French philosophy of pursuing the "bonne vie". I taught EFL in the France elementary school system, and I also enjoyed my two hour lunches. Also, in addition to France's diverse natural features, it is great to savor the cultures which surround it by traveling to France's borders.

    • Talullah profile image

      Talullah 5 years ago from SW France

      Great hub! I think France is, indeed, a beautiful country but, having lived here for the last three years, we are selling up and going back home. The bureaucracy is horrendous; it's very difficult to get anything done here. The cost of living has rocketed, too, so it's a very expensive place to live. I would advise anyone thinking of moving to France to rent first. I wish we had!

    • writtenbylv profile image

      writtenbylv 5 years ago from Atlanta, Ga.

      I have wanted to visit France since I was a little girl, and hopefully I will retire there one day. I love your article, thanks!

    • KimberlyLake profile image

      Kimberly Lake 5 years ago from California

      @princess my aunt lives in south France near the ocean and has a home in Corsica she has lived there for many years. She is ( semi retired) an opera singer and my cousin is a torte singer there too. I have always wanted to go.

    • Princessa profile image
      Author

      Wendy Iturrizaga 5 years ago from France

      Kimberly: thank you for the HubLove. I hope that you can make it here at some point, you will love it!

    • KimberlyLake profile image

      Kimberly Lake 5 years ago from California

      I love this Hub. France is such an interesting place. I definitely want to take a trip and travel all over. In the meantime I will read as many hubs as I can about the destinations Thanks Voted up and interesting. Socially shared.

    • profile image

      NY Will 6 years ago

      Hi. I'm loving reading your blog here! We live in Brooklyn, NY and fit the mold of Americans who simply work all the time. I constantly battle with this existence. I struggle to earn more money and buy fancier cars while I lament the fact that life is passing by and we really aren't making an effort to enjoy and live. France has been a place where I can breathe and feel my blood pressure drop since my first trip in college. I've taken to scouring the internet to fantasize about somehow living in France, but haven't a clue how I'd make a living there, etc. I'm a lawyer in NYC. Also - how does one settle on where to live? I wouldn't know where to begin or what to do. Again - thanks so much for your site. It's a pleasure. Bill

    • Princessa profile image
      Author

      Wendy Iturrizaga 6 years ago from France

      melbel: yes, health care is fantastic!

      Les Trois Chenes: Thanks for the extra reasons to move to France. We are certainly loving it here. I think I should update this list now hat we have been living here for 5 years. In all that time we have learnt a lot about French culture and the advantages of settling here.

    • Les Trois Chenes profile image

      Les Trois Chenes 6 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

      I agree with all that you say, Princessa. I would also add a few more. melbel mentions health for instance. There is no traffic, the air is clean, insurance is low because there's no theft. You didn't mention investment. Many people have made a fortune renovating property here. I could go on ........ and on ....

    • melbel profile image

      Melanie Shebel 7 years ago from New Buffalo, Michigan

      Don't about forget the health care!

    • Princessa profile image
      Author

      Wendy Iturrizaga 8 years ago from France

      Issues veritas: what can I say?, I just love it here :)

    • profile image

      issues veritas 8 years ago

      Princessa

      Thanks for the feedback.

      Living in Southern California any place that has water in their rivers is a nice place to visit.

      Your hub makes it look enticing.

    • Princessa profile image
      Author

      Wendy Iturrizaga 8 years ago from France

      issues veritas : Not at all. To be honest I think most of them never go out of their "French bubble". Mind you among the young generations there is a lot of admiration for American actors, singers and ready to wear fashion.

      I am also a foreigner in France and I have only met very friendly people.

    • profile image

      issues veritas 8 years ago

      Princessa

      I have never been further east than England. Well OK, I have only been to England and Canada. So, the only thing that I know about France comes indirectly. Do the French in general really have a problem with Americans?

       

    • Princessa profile image
      Author

      Wendy Iturrizaga 8 years ago from France

      David, you are right, I have heard 'c'est pas mon boulot' several times in France and it is very frustrating. But I have also lived in Spain and heard the same phrase over and over again. There are many disadvantages to living in France, but having lived in other European and South American countries I still prefer France.

      Kris: I think the point is that in France a career is not as important as family life. Here people see life different, you don't define yourself by your career or profession -at least no in the countryside. I have many friends that prefer to earn less money than being promoted to a more demanding job. Many of my girlfriends refuse point blank to work on a Sunday (even when they get double the money) they prefer to keep their Sundays for their family activities.

      Thaks for your comment :)

    • KrisC profile image

      KrisC 8 years ago

      I'd love to live in France. Who wouldn't. What kind of job do you do though? Jobs in Europe are very difficult to attain. If you do find one, then turning that job into a career becomes even more difficult. Perhaps, this is only my experience but even my friends who attempted the same had lots of trouble. Great post though! Makes me want to go back.........

    • david verge profile image

      david verge 8 years ago from New York

      although my heart does reside in the small villages of france and spain, i think you skip over some of the very real problems in france, the abunance of 'hlm' or projects that dot the skylines is not a pretty site. unemployment is rampant in these areas and there is a high percentage of xenaphobia in frace, especially towards the arab and jewish populations.

      also the cradle to grave dependence of their socialist system has created a lax attitude in the french mentality. how many times have you heard 'c'est pas mon boulot'. after a while it gets a bit annoying

      but asked if i could live in france or the US, i'd pick France anyday.

    • Princessa profile image
      Author

      Wendy Iturrizaga 8 years ago from France

      swiftwalker: You are so lucky, you can get the best of both worlds !

    • swiftwalker profile image

      swiftwalker 8 years ago

      Hi Princessa well i have the luxury of living in portsmouth uk, a quick swim from Cherbourg and the north of France, i have managed to stay in a beautiful Chateau outside paris with my Daughter with great memories. hope to return more frequently. :-)

    • Princessa profile image
      Author

      Wendy Iturrizaga 8 years ago from France

      Sebastian: There are plenty of beautiful castles in France, just choose your timeframe and you find an endless list.

      Victoria: Homesick? ohlalala... Belgium is very pretty too isn't? I hope you can come to visit France again soon. Good luck!

      Brian: France is known for leaving a looooong lasting impression :)

    • Sebastian Allen profile image

      Sebastian Allen 8 years ago from West Palm Beach, FL

      Great Hub. I have visited France several times and I have always loved France. The YouTube, "Most beautiful castles in France," was very nice. Think I'll add it on my page as well.

    • profile image

      vicktoria 8 years ago

      princessa,

      I'm so homesick right now, I'm from Belgium but have been living in the US for the last 7 years and have not had the time yet to go back. I miss it so much, I remember driving for to weekend to paris and spending every summer in Anduze, Provence. I wich I was still there....:(

    • Brian Kopp profile image

      Brian Kopp 8 years ago from Brisbane, Australia

      I love you hub, I still have fond memories of France from my visit over twenty years ago.

    • Princessa profile image
      Author

      Wendy Iturrizaga 8 years ago from France

      Joe, I have been to France several times in the past 10 years and It has been my full time home for the past 3 years. I can only say good about the French, they are the most educated people I have come across, the more I know them and their country, the more I like both.

      It has its disadvantages, yes, like very high taxes and the high cost of living and bureaucracy, but I think that is nothing compared to the advantages of living here and giving my children a French education.

    • profile image

      Joe 8 years ago

      I personallz donät like the French people. They are arrogant and restrained. It may look nice for new comers, but with the time, you get fed up with the restrictions and with the fake classy levels. Somehow, you'll miss the natural not-restrained reactions you were used to.

      Every new culture and place my sound and look attractive for a tourist. After you spend years and you discover the disadvantages and inconviniences of the place, you may change your mind.

    • Princessa profile image
      Author

      Wendy Iturrizaga 8 years ago from France

      clairecov: The French are very nice people, friendly, helpful and welcoming as you have experienced by yourself. I am sure you will enjoy coming back and having your slice of "la bonne vie".

    • clairecov profile image

      clairecov 8 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      France is a magic place for me too. I spent a year there in the '80 with my 3 kids and loved it. I didn't find the french any more arrogant and rude than people elsewhere. For the most part they were very kind and helpful. Especially with my chilkren. I fully intend to make it back there at some time.

      Thanks for your reminder.

    • Princessa profile image
      Author

      Wendy Iturrizaga 8 years ago from France

      barryrutherford: you are welcome any time ;)

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 8 years ago from Queensland Australia

      me too id like to come over...

    • Princessa profile image
      Author

      Wendy Iturrizaga 8 years ago from France

      summer10: You are welcome, I am happy that you enjoyed your time in France. For me France is magic, the more I discover in here, the more I like it!

    • summer10 profile image

      summer10 8 years ago from my happy place :)

      The cobblestone streets and old-world glamour lives and breathes in France. I spent two glorious weeks in Paris when I was 19 and no matter what chaos ensues, I have those incredible memories to last me a lifetime. Thank you for a great reminder and a moment to step into the past.

    • hans56 profile image

      hans56 9 years ago from Amsterdam/Chicago

      Princessa,

      For me France is summer, the Provence, autoroute, when you pass Lyon the good life starts. The atmosphere of the South in summer. Or the wondefull coasts of Bretagne, the completely different surroundings at Bordeaux. As a child we spend all our hollidays there, and since my parents were teachers we had about 6 weeks.

      Lovely Hub, tempted to get in the car, 12 hours autoroute on cola and candy bars :-)

    • Geoff-Ecotist profile image

      Geoff-Ecotist 9 years ago from London UK

      France is great, I lived in Paris for 7 months aged about 23, that was fun! I even wrote some fiction there that got published!

    • Angela Harris profile image

      Angela Harris 9 years ago from Around the USA

      I am sooo tempted. I have actually considered France as a place to move. I don't know how realistic that is, but your Hub has made me even more interested.

    • Princessa profile image
      Author

      Wendy Iturrizaga 9 years ago from France

      Lissie I hope you can come to Europe soon, good luck with those hubs!

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 9 years ago from New Zealand

      Oh stop it you are making me homesick for Europe - and I am not even from there - hopefully my hubpages will really take off and then Ican afford another European trip!

    • chabrenas profile image

      chabrenas 9 years ago from middle of France

      I agree wholeheartedly with every point you have made. One effect of the recent opening of the London Eurostar train terminal is that English people are buying houses near Calais so that they can commute to London, but let their children grow up and go to school in France!

    • Princessa profile image
      Author

      Wendy Iturrizaga 9 years ago from France

      Thanks for the comment Mr. Marmalade. I love it in France and I am glad that you too also found your place to be happy.

    • MrMarmalade profile image

      MrMarmalade 9 years ago from Sydney

      Princessa: -

      Having looked at the photo of yourself, that you present to us hubbers, I feel that the one thing you need not worry about is eating to excess.

      Many years ago I was a keynote speaker at a Conference in Monaco. There were 500 people from all over the world there for one week. Val and I were given two weeks so we explored to our heart's content. What a beautiful country and history. For the next ten years I believed we would retire into the Monaco way of living.

      I did grow up and decided we did have the polish or the wealth one needed. Now we live by the beach, in the best Country in the world.

      Thank you for great hub.

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Sound like a lovely place to tour around. I hate flying so tooooo far away for this lil old ozzie

    • Tottie profile image

      Tottie 9 years ago from Australia , or China, or South Korea.

      I too would like to go to France. Perhaps this year I might be able to make a quick trip over from the UK. But time will be at a premium, and I might just have to save up for another time. Thanks for sharing this info.

    • Rudra profile image

      Rudra 9 years ago

      France, one of the most beautiful places of the world.

    • Research Analyst profile image

      Research Analyst 9 years ago

      I would like to visit France, thanks for the virtual tour.

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